Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Earth Mama to Join Other Artists for 'Grayson County Day at Heartwood'

     INDEPENDENCE, Va. (November 2012) – Environmental songstress Earth Mama (a.k.a. Joyce Rouse) of Independence, Va., will celebrate the release of her latest CD, "Blessings of the Universe", with live performances, CD signings, and music composing demonstrations from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Nov. 16 (Friday) at the Heartwood Artisan Center, 1 Heartwood Circle in Abingdon, Va.  

     Earth Mama will participate in the center's daylong "Grayson County Day at Heartwood" with solo performances at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.  The arts and culture event also will feature artwork displays by Grayson County artists such as painters Kathye Mendes and Todd Price, woodworker Terry Clark, heritage broom maker John Alexander, and pottery artists David and Sherry Hoffman.  

      Rouse also will join fellow artists at 4 p.m. for a collaborative arts finale performance. Admission is free. Proceeds from the sale of CDs, handcrafted quilts, and other donated items will benefit Grayson Backpack Ministry, a community outreach providing nutritious meals and snacks to children. 

     Rouse describes her new project as "inspirational songs for the foreground and background of your days". The vocal and piano-centered CD takes listeners on a soulful and lyrical journey of gratitude, reassurance, hope and wonder with heartfelt praises of God and all God's creation. 

     A number of songs on "Blessings of the Universe" were commissioned to mark milestones for various faith-based organizations.  Others were written as musical blessings or prayers for a well-drilling project in Africa, women's events, and a solar energy conference.  Several musical short stories reflect on the "kin-dom" journeys of great religious figures, including Mary Magdalene and Saint Francis of Assisi.  

     The album was recorded in Nashville, with Rouse serving as lead vocalist, songwriter and producer. Some of the selections feature stirring accompaniments by pianist/vocalist Catherine Styron, guitarist Pat McGrath, and percussionist Paul Scholten.  Earth Mama plays grand piano on "Follow the Sun".

     "The Sisters of St. Francis, the Sisters of Earth, and other organizations inspired me with their depth of love and concern for people and places on the margins -- women who walk miles each day to carry their family's water, those with serious mental and physical health issues, and ecological unraveling," said Rouse, who wrote most of the songs at her home in the Appalachians.  "These songs express in some way my gratitude for this journey. When I sang them at events, they caught on in a kind of folk song way and were then carried gently out into the world.  The whole project felt like the unfolding of the Universe".

     Earth Mama has been delighting audiences of all ages with toe-tapping music and green-living tips for more than 10 years, “helping heal the planet one song at a time.” 

     For more information about "Grayson County Day at Heartwood" or the artist's "Blessings of the Universe" CD, call (276) 773-8529, send an e-mail message to, or visit

No comments:

Post a Comment